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Dr Ian Plummer

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Technical
Hoop Modifications


Below is a gallery of suggested hoop modification intended to make hoops more challenging to run.

Hoop Adaptions

 

Feature

Hoop
rigidity

Narrows
acceptance
angle

Increases
resistance

Wiring
opportunities

Requires
hoop
modification

A Weight below the ground X       X
B Guiding plates   X X X X
C Ramp   X   X  
D Bar     X X  
E Tube   X X X X
F Modified surface properties     X   ~
G Fatter uprights X X   X X
H Shaped uprights   X     X
I Additional mass X       ~
J tba!          
K            
L            

~ = possible additional item

 

Feature

Comment

A

Weight below the ground

The Hopewell hoops were designed with significantly heavier carrots. I have not yet heard objective reports of this hoop. Extra weight can be added using fins instead of carrots which additionally increase the surface area of the hoop in contact with the soil. Adjusting the gape of finned hoops is difficult.

B

Guiding plates

Likely to be bent out of alignment.

C

Ramp

This deserves a quick investigation. It does not require any modification to normal hoops and can be removed for 'non-elite' play.

D

Bar

Simple to clip into standard hoops. Worth a quick test.

E

Tube

Can be affected by grit. Mallet cannot be swung between uprights.

F

Modified surface properties

Uprights can be knurled, chemically etched, sand (etc.) blasted. Alternatively they can be painted with gripping compounds such as silicone, wrapped with tape or a sleeve fitted. Jerry Stark at Meadowood, USA had polished stainless steel hoops.

G

Fatter uprights

Jerry Stark's hoops (above) had 3/4" (rather than 5/8") uprights. The Croquet Association Laws now allow for uprights up to 3/4" via the tolerance value (See Approved Croquet Hoops - Specification and Laws).

H

Shaped uprights

Martin French has experimented with flat faces on the uprights. I believe that the hoops were not significantly more difficult to run.

I

Additional mass

Could be a weight clamped on to a hoop for a quick test.

J

 

 

K

 

 

L

 

 

 

See also:

Croquet Hoops. Includes pictures of some modified hoops. Dr Ian Plummer.

Calculations of the Effect of Varying Hoop Dimensions. Dr Ian Vincent.

A hoop running rig was constructed which was reported in the Croquet Gazette (Kibble or French?) which consisted of a ramp which could be aimed at a hoop from various angles. I do not have a reference to hand.

Comments

Martin French (a member of the CA Equipment Committee) adds:

I'm all for experimentation, and agree that trickier hoops would be a huge improvement to the top class game.  But they have to be practical and possible for a Tournament Referee to set.

In recent years, I've seen trials in England of a monster hoop with larger and very massive carrots, uprights and crown (turned out to be easier to run than a normal hoop alongside it), a metal frame driven into the ground around a conventional hoop to reduce hoop movement (no discernable effect) and the trial of facetted hoops (with uprights chamfered at various angles up to 45°).  These facetted hoops were indeed a little more difficult to run, but the difference was too small to be decisive - James Death still set up a row of balls a yard out at increasing angles round to 45° and hacked them all through repeatedly.

We haven't yet got results from objective tests, but while the fatter uprights (e.g. of Hopewell hoops) makes them more rigid, they still seem slightly easier to run - perhaps the larger radius of the upright 'grabs' the ball less, and this offsets the reduction in hoop movement?  There were some tests last winter of the effect of hoop coating, as some wondered whether smooth plastic coating made them easier to run - but the differences between painted, coating and bare metal seemed too slight.

So we need some new ideas and then some objective tests.

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Updated 16.vii.17
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